Omega-3 and Omega-6 Benefits for Health 

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The fatty acid is also called as Carboxylic acid. Fatty acids are important as they are structural Component of Animal Cell. There are various types of fatty acids whether that is animal fat, vegetable fat or oil. The terms saturated vs unsaturated are often applied to the fatty acid constituents of fats.

Types of Fats in Food

I. Saturated

  • Saturated fats are saturated with hydrogen molecules.
  • Contain only single bonds between carbon molecules.
  • Solid at room temperature.
  • Associated with Heart disease if consumed too much.
  • Cholesterol found in our body is made by the liver to make cells.
  • Cholesterol is used to make vitamin D with sunlight.
  • Cholesterol are of two types LDL and HDL.
  • Butter, Palm oil, Cheese, Coconut oil etc raise LDL and HDL.
  • Egg has saturated fat as well as polyunsaturated fat which depends on chickens feeding.

II. Unsaturated

1. Monounsaturated

These are in the liquid form in Room Temperature.

  • w-7
  • w-9
  • w-11

2. Polyunsaturated

– These are in the liquid form in Room Temperature.

Omega-3 is an unsaturated Fatty Acid. Polyunsaturated to be precise.

  • w-3 (Essential Fatty Acid Omega-3)
  • w-5
  • w-6( Essential Fatty Acid Omega-6)

3. Trans Fat

  • Industrially made fat are Trans Fat.
  • Known as Triglycerides
  • Decrease HDL Cholesterol which leads to cardiac arrest.

4.   Interesterified Fat

Eye benifits of omega 3

Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3 and Omega-6

  • Of all the fats, Only Omega-3 and Omega-6 are known as essential fatty acids.
  • Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs are called essential as they are not produced by Human Body but are needed to our body.
  • In early 90’s omega-3  and omega-6 were known as Vitamin F which later was known to be fats.

Major Omega-6 Fatty Acid:

  1. Linoleic acid
  2. Arachidonic acid

Major Types of Omega-3 Fatty acid:

  1. α-linolenic acid also known as ALA
  2. eicosapentaenoic acid is known as EPA
  3. docosahexaenoic acid is known as DHA

Since mammals cannot make essential omega 3 and omega 6 that is ALA and LA, it must be consumed from diets. The human liver converts ALA to EPA and DHA and by making the long-chain bond of carbon, but in small amounts. Thus the conversion of ALA to DHA in our body is in little quantity, so consumed directly through food sources definitely contains more DHA. The Conversion of ALA to DHA is more in Female than men though the exact mechanism is unknown. Human baby lacks ALA to DHA conversion mechanism. Breast milk and baby food contain DHA and LA to meet the requirements for smooth brain and body development. Likewise, Omega-6 LA is also converted into other forms in our body.

Omega-3 doesn’t come from fish

Harvard’s School of Public Health in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2006) concluded that Omega-3 comes from sea algae, not from fish. Fish contain omega-3 because they eat sea algae and seaweed. Unfortunately, that is not the only thing they contain nowadays. Fish are often full of PCBs and other toxins that need to be filtered out first to extract omega-3.

Sources of Omega-3 fatty acid:

The Primary source of ALA is Plant Oil and the primary source of EPA and DHA is Sea Algae. Fish, Shell Fish, Skrill, Seal oil, seaweed oil, flaxseed, hemp seed oil, olive oil, soya oil, canola oil, chia seed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, leafy vegetables, walnuts, Hazelnut are the sources of Omega -3 and omega-6.

Omega-3 Source Facts

  • Egg contain omega-3 as well as saturated fat.
  • Sesame oil has all essential and non-essential omega fatty acids.
  • The largest omega 3 is found in cold-water fatty fish.
  • Salmone Fish contains the largest amount of DHA.
  • Baby Food infant formula is full of DHA.
  • It is necessary to include flax seeds in your diet because they are the rich in ALA.

Omega-3 Benefits for Health

  1. Omega -3 DHA makes 30% of the fat of Gray matter of the brain.
  2. DHA is 97% of the Omega 3 used in Brain.
  3. The role of omega-3 fatty acid in dry eye is that the Meibomian secretion i.e. Meibum makes the major part of the lipid layer of the tear film, and the structural component of the fat is contributed by omega-3. Studies have shown that the lack of omega-3 in the body results in evaporative dry eyes.
  4. A 2018 study found that omega-3 supplementation was helpful in protecting cardiac health in those who did not regularly eat fish, particularly in the African American population.
  5. Evidence suggests that omega−3 fatty acids modestly lower blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) in people with hypertension and in people with normal blood pressure.
  6. Omega−3 fatty acids reduce blood triglyceride levels but do not significantly change the level of LDL cholesterol or HDL cholesterol in the blood.
  7. Supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids may help relieve Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and morning stiffness.
  8. Omega‐3 fatty acids decrease blood glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol and liver fat accumulation.
  9. Omega-3 is found to have a link with depressive mood and mental health.
  10. Helps in neurodegenerative disorders.
  11. Helps  Retinal cells to function normally in those with age-related macular degeneration.
  12. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for glaucoma patients as they decrease IOP, increase ocular blood flow, and improve optic neuroprotective function.
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